Mona Lavender: Garden Ingenue

Mona Lavender may sound like an ingenue in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel or a singer in a punk-rock band. Actually, though, this is the name of a new ornamental plant variety brought out after many ye...

Cyclamen Thrives in L.A. and Jerusalem

If you take a map of the world and draw a line between Los Angeles and Jerusalem, you will notice that the line is nearly parallel to the equator. Being practically the same distance from the equator...

Sages Are Wise Garden Choices

If you were restricted in your garden design choices to nothing but sages, you could still easily have the most memorable garden in town. There are 900 sages (Salvia species) to choose from and many ...

Kangaroo Paw and Wisteria Problems

So much hyperbole surrounds certain plants that you simply have to have them. Sometimes this hyperbole is visual. You see a plant covered with blooms at the nursery and take it home, assuming it will...

Amaranthus

Its leaves taste like spinach, its seeds are a nutritious cereal grain substitute, and its flowers serve as a bold accent in the annual garden bed. Yet it nearly became extinct half a millennium ago....

Be Mellow with your Mallows

Q: I ordered six tree mallows (Lavatera) from a catalog last year. They grew to more than 6 feet tall and were covered with flowers almost the whole summer. This summer, however, three of them died a...

A Study in Orange

A friend of mine who lives in Glendale has created a remarkable garden. He calls it “A Study in Orange.” Gardens in a single color are not unusual. I have seen a blue garden that featured...

Glorious Ornamental Kale

If you want to see constant color in your garden during the remainder of the fall and throughout the winter, consider planting ornamental cabbage and ornamental kale. Unlike pansies (prone to fungi t...